I checked my stash when I went to take this picture after getting home–I was surprised at how few I had left.Â Time to replenish.
The story: sometimes it’s more about the parents.
There’s a Costco a mile from our house and there were things needing picking up; we don’t shop on Sundays, and waiting till Monday was going to be a pain.Â And…Â Things were such that if I didn’t go right then, nobody was going and it was twelve minutes to closing time.
I’ve been trying to avoid exposure to germs especially right now.Â We don’t need any delays re the surgery.Â And yet.Â I ignored the crazy bod and asserted, hey, I’m on it, and somehow nobody objected.
I knew I had to be in and out of there pretty quickly and grabbed the few things on the list fast before the ohmygoshthestoreisclosing crowd got too big at checkout.Â I had one moment standing in line where I felt like take a deep breath, c’mon, you can make it.
I needed a distraction from the Crohn’s noise, and it turned out, I got it.Â There was a toddler in a shopping cart near the door who had been out and about just a bit longer than she could handle. She wasn’t in meltdown mode, but she was quivering on the edge.
And so, it looked like, was her mom, who was gamely trying to keep her daughter happy.Â The mom’s dress proclaimed her as non-mainstream.Â Whether she was new to this country or not, I don’t know, although so many people are in this area–but one thing I do know is, it’s wonderful but it is also hard to be the mother of a small child.
Little ones mimic not only our words as they learn to talk, but also our moods. They are absolutely unerring in picking up on how we feel. It is so easy to scoop them up and cheer them up and make their entire world wonderful; it is so easy to be cheered up by them; but the burden of parenthood is that when we’re stressed, it doesn’t take long before they are too. And they can be fairly loud about making it known that they want everything fixed NOW.
Which too many in the world at large tend not to approve of, which doesn’t make matters easier.
And yet.Â They encourage us to live up to the best in ourselves to make them laugh again too by the very fact that they come around so easily.Â How many middle-aged parents, remembering what it was like when their children were little, will make smiley faces and play peek-a-boo with a little one in a cart?Â We remember. And we borrow back from Time the delight of pleasing toddlers: all little children are our children too now.
That mom looked like she was trying, but please (glancing in the direction of her distracted husband) get her out of this place and let her go home.
Costco requires its members to let their receipt be looked over on their way out the door.Â There was another lineup–again, not too bad.Â I pulled my cart over and waved the guy behind me forward as I fished in my purse.
There was just one in there: a bright green handknitted hummingbird from the women’s cooperative in Peru, with a red throat and a flower at the end of its beak.Â Cool. I took a few steps over and handed it to the mom:Â “It’s for helping cheer her up.”
She looked at me and at it, stunned. She said nothing; I don’t know if we had English in common.Â “It’s a finger puppet.Â Merry Christmas,” not wanting to invoke religion at all but rather the idea of a gift freely given and not expected back.
I returned to my cart and was almost immediately up to the door guy, and just as I turned going out, done, I glanced back–to where she was waiting for me to. She caught my eye, smiled, and waved.
And her little daughter was happy.
I floated all the way home, feeling like, and *that’s* why nobody else could put things down just then to run to the store before it closed!
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